Friday, January 23, 2009

School Notes

At Our Fine School, the kindergarteners study Japan, which means there is a Japanese Hot Lunch served in early February. Guess who's on the Japanese Hot Lunch committee for Mrs. B's class? Guess who desperately did not want to be on the Japanese Hot Lunch committee for Mrs. B's class, but who was last in line for the sign-up sheet?

I have nothing against Japanese cuisine, other than the fact I don't eat it. I'm not a seafood person in general, and raw seafood holds no appeal for me. Add to that the fact I cannot cook rice for more than four people at a time, and I think you'll agree that I'm not the best mom for the job.

But I'm stuck with it, so yesterday morning I trudged into school at 8:15 for the Japanese Hot Lunch Committee Meeting. I wasn't in any way, shape or form looking forward to it. For one thing, my fellow kindergarten moms are much too young and attractive to deal with first thing in the morning. I had Will when I was 38; clearly the other moms were child brides who bore their children shortly after graduating middle school. A number of them are consistently fashionably dressed, which this season means short skirts and high heeled boots. It is a fabulous look, and a slightly ridiculous one for the kindergarten hallways. Just sayin'.

Here's the good news: my fellow committee members all wore jeans, and two out of three had crows feet. None were a size 2 (a common malady among the younger moms at Our Fine School). Best of all, at the beginning of the meeting Mrs B said, "Y'all can cook if you want to, but if I were you, I'd just go to that Japanese restaurant over by the TJ Maxx. That's what my moms did last year, and the food was great."

Meeting over. Well, we did have to divvy up who would bring forks and napkins (moi) and who would place the take-out order (Wendy), and we agreed if we went over our $100 budget we would happily split the difference. But that was it. So as it turns out, I love being on the Japanese Hot Lunch Committee. Piece of cake.


After the meeting was over, I strolled over to see the lovely "I have a dream" posters the kids in Will's class had made for MLK's birthday. Oh, the sentiments expressed were lovely and dear: "I have a dream everyone gets enough to eat." "I have a dream no one would die." "I have a dream for peace."

I eagerly searched out Will's. It was all the way at the end of the row of posters, a little bit in the shadows. It read: "I have a dream everybody could use the same bathroom."

I was a bit taken aback. What could that possibly mean? Will doesn't even like using the bathroom, and I'm sure if he could have his own, private porta-potty to haul around with him, he would. So why does all the sudden he want to use the bathroom with everybody else?

Fortunately, a woman who was also reading the posters noticed my obvious distress. "You know what? I bet Mrs. B told them about how blacks and whites used to have separate bathroom facilities. I bet that's what he's writing about."

Thank goodness she cleared that up for me, or I would have spent all day wondering what the heck Will was talking about and why my children are so weird. Still, I wish Will had come up with something a little more profound (and a little less dated, quite frankly--his dream is about forty years behind the times). But I guess you go with your gut when it comes to what you dare to dream.


Jack would leave his rear end at home everyday if it weren't tied onto the rest of him. Good Lord, that child has no sense--and no long term memory. He has yet to remember one "come to school dressed like an insane person" day, and the fourth grade calendar is replete with them. Today it was "Come to School Dressed in Your Jammies Day!" It completely slipped Jack's mind until we picked up A, who walked out of his house in pjs and a robe.

Jack got that stricken look he gets when he realizes he's forgotten yet another important landmark occasion. He paled. His mouth trembled a little. "Mom, could you bring my baseball pajamas to school? And a small stuffed animal?"

I said I would. I didn't want Jack to miss out on any fourth grade zaniness. I mean, I'm not a monster. Later, thinking about it, I realized if Jack had forgotten his homework, I wouldn't have brought it in. I would have made him take the consequences for forgetting. I would have taught him an Important Life Lesson.

But jammies? How can you deny a boy who wants to wear his jams to school like all the other kids? You can't. You just can't.


Heather said...

Wonderful post as usual. I happen to live deep in GRITS territory, and even though I am technically a 'girl raised in the south' I have as much in common with the perfectly highlighted and coifed moms as my sensible flats do to their 4" heeled boots. I admit I feel a bit intimidated by them when they are en masse (like piranhas)and wonder at the sheer amount of money their husbands must earn to keep them in collagen and cosmopolitans.
The bathroom thing is golden.

Anonymous said...

I love reading your posts...everyone wonders what I'm tittering about. :)

Tracy said...

You'd love Our School Frances. There is rarely anything fancy about our parents ~ more likely they're a practical bunch who find their fancy stuff in 2nd hand shops. Well, ya know, we're all paying school fees and you just can't have it all, all at once!

Mr Busy is my forgetter. The girls have elephant memories...but that boy. He's a whole other story. If I could've I too would've gone back for the pj's. But not the homework. He wouldn't deserve his lolly reward if his mother was the one to bring it back for him, would he?

Cathy said...

Hello LHH
Lovely way to start the day - having done the kiss'n'ride thing for grandchildren I know what you mean about the fashion show at 9am - nobody gets out of the car so I'm only going on the top half - I've no idea whats on their bottom half :))

And the car parade is another fashion statement again - it seems make model and colour all matter - mine just 'goes' lol

Our kids lived 2 seconds from the school and walked which was good 'cose theres no way I would have been awake enough let alone dressed enough to go with them at that time of the morning
Take care

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Heather, a good friend of mine just moved to Birmingham, and she says this is the first time in her life she's ever felt fat. She doesn't do fashion or make-up and is feeling quite out of the loop.

Tina, I'm glad I make you laugh!

Tracy, your school sounds grand. I've found at our school that the parents of older kids are a little more frumpy and down to earth, though there are obviously some who are hanging on to their haute couture to the bitter end.

Cathy, I know what you mean about the car fashion show--we have that, too. I drive a drab minivan of a certain vintage, but there are a lot of just-off-the-lot SUVs rolling around. Very fancy.

Dulce Domum said...

I wear walking boots and an anorak for the school run, I look like I'm just about to scale Scafell Pike. I admire the effort it must take to wear high healed boots at 8:30 am, I just can't bring myself to go that far sartorially, and let's face it I just can't get those boots over my fat calves!

Has your boy considered writing to Pres. Obama to tell him about the bathrooms?

Susan said...

Knowing a bit about the area where you live, it's great that in that land of suburban strip mall after strip mall and instant purchasing gratification, the Japanese restaurant is next to the TJMaxx. If you are feeling self-conscious about your footwear on Japanese Lunch Day, you can slip into TJMaxx to buy a new pair of designer boots at a discount. Then you can feel smuggly self-satisfied that unlike the other moms who have purchased their boots at places like Nortstorms, you have the good sense to seek out a bargain. Certainly, YOUR consermism isn't as banal as theirs.